The Tactile Approach


There is much talk of curious formulations and transformative textures in beauty. However, let’s not forget the part packaging plays in a decision to purchase alongside the product’s connection to the user and how it fits into their beauty routines. Today’s focus is on trend examples of tactile products and how they affect the user experience.


  • There have been mixed reviews on Glossier’s debut fragrance, You. Particularly, on the topic of packaging. In connection with the scent’s theme and inspiration, the bottle features an indentation similar to a thumbprint. Whilst this may look out of place on first glance, it makes for holding the bottle to spritz more comfortable. Their London pop up presented itself as a showroom where the public was encouraged to try and play across the entire product range. Most notably was their fragrance room. Walking in, you are hugged by the inviting scent of You filling the air. Low mood lighting and a wall of mirrors that let the light bounce off creating a wonderful atmosphere. We’re used to having pieces of card spritzed with fragrance handed to us passing through department stores. Instead, Glossier take on a tactile approach allowing customers to help themselves to test out the new fragrance making for a memorable experience.
  • Stiks Cosmetiks give off retro vibes with their lipstick packaging. An intentional design to be easily opened and applied with one hand making them the perfect commuter companion. The slanted lipstick bullet allows for easy lip lining.
  • There has always been something satisfying about a compact or lipstick that magnetically clicks shuts. Now, you can purchase whole makeup collections that click and snap together. From Fenty Beauty’s magnetized highlighter trio to Trestique’s twist on and off tools to customise their stick makeup.
  • Following on from this are stackable cosmetics, perfect for travel and customising your selection. From BellaPierre to Ruby and Millie’s stackable eyeshadows. Most recently, Trinny Woodall has brought out an entire makeup range of cream formulations. All stackable.

The Makeup Sponge


Dry sponge, bouncy sponge, wet sponge, silicone sponge - all favourite ways to apply makeup after the wave of stippling brushes made their mark. How these tools feel on the skin is important. Throughout 2017, we’ve seen a curious online trend of people using a variety of different objects to apply their makeup from fidget spinners to food. Whilst these novelty entertaining approaches will simmer down, it does show the interest consumers have in the sense of touch in their everyday beauty experiences. Brands such as Barely Cosmetics have looked into create an ideal shape for their sponge as well as how it behaves when wet. 

The Ergonomic Factor

We’re always quick to comment on the shape of a lipstick bullet or the curvature of a mascara wand. And that’s because these designs play a huge part in how well a product will perform. For example, top-selling Japanese Fairydrops mascara uses a curved wand with little balls along it to help lift and add volume to lashes. Innovative Korean beauty brand NEOGEN, have just launched a no-brush mascara. The idea being that it can coat each individual lash and be washed between uses. 

Tactile Futures

Fashion, food and lifestyle trends manifest over beauty. How does our sense of touch and perception of shape increase the overall sensory experience? This topic is discussed in chapter 1 of Beauty Look Ahead 2018/19 and includes on-trend examples.

Beauty Look Ahead 2018/19
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Sarirah Hamid